Friday, May 13, 2011

Wayuu Taya Foundation (and their FANTASTIC bags)

The Wayúu Tayá Foundation is a 501(c)3 non governmental, nonprofit organization founded in 2002 to help improve the lives of Latin-American indigenous communities while maintaining and respecting their traditions, culture and beliefs.  Wayúu Tayá Foundation was founded by Wayúu model and actress, Patricia Velásquez.  Since its creation, it has concentrated its efforts in assisting the Wayúu, an indigenous group of over 450,000 people, located in the Guajira Peninsula of northern Colombia and northwest Venezuela.

Wayúu’s, commonly referred to as Guajiros, are an Amerindian ethic group that have been able to avoid European acculturation over the centuries. The Guajira region is characterized by being very dry and arid, as well as extremely poor in most rural areas.

After the tragic events of the earthquake that hit Port Au Prince, Wayúu Tayá has expanded its work to Haiti with the creation of the Help Haiti Hope initiative.

Currently expanding into the Amazon where it will support healthcare and education initiatives, benefiting major indigenous groups such as the Jivi, Yanomami and Piaroa.

The proceeds from the sale of these bags in their online gift shop go to benefiting the Wayuú indigenous people. The bags are hand-made by Wayuú indigenous women at Shukumajaya, the foundation's women center that helps educate women on parenting and nutrition, family planning and hygiene.

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